L&D role in 2023

How can the L&D department justify its role in 2023? 

Learning and development is a keenly observed department now. The focus is not just on investing in this domain, but on getting the best returns out of it. The employees need to get some benefit out of the L&D initiatives of the company.

It can’t be denied that L&D has assumed renewed importance for companies because of the ongoing recession.

The last thing that the companies want to do is to hire new talents.

Hence, they aim to train the existing employees who need newer skills to handle their jobs with increased responsibilities.

The employees should be able to change for the new jobs they are supposed to handle.

The following are the ways in which the L&D roles have changed:

  • Reduce new hiring:

A business must uncover many things before launching an elearning program. Firstly, it needs to know whether the company can reduce the demand for external hiring with elearning. It’s because if it can, through training, it can mean a lot of cost-saving. Training is also needed when employees quit their jobs because they don’t understand them. 

The L&D can make an immense difference to solve the real problems of the business. It can hire the right people for the job to actually design the content needed to perform the jobs in the company. If that’s not done, then the company can’t transfer people from one department to another, i.e., reskilling can’t happen. The L&D department in the company can work hard to ensure that the stakeholders are listened to for better output.

  • Solve the learning needs rather than goals:

The L&D department has to ensure that it holds discussions with stakeholders to know what they require from training. For example, if the employees have some problems in their work and cannot sleep at night, then the L&D department can learn that training can solve such critical issues.

These stakeholders are the employees who know what they need to learn, which coincides with business goals, so after talking to them, the learning department clearly knows the priorities. The times are difficult for the learning department because the ROI for it can’t be specified, and any lackluster attitude can mean cutting the funds. Employees might not exactly get a salary hike after training, but their growth possibilities increase.

  • Act as a mediator between business and elearning:

The elearning department can indeed help businesses save money by figuring out what are the business needs. It must have a complete idea of the current market and political scenario and how the business can flourish by learning.

The leaders of this department need to find a middle way to efficiently handle the business’s requirements versus the capabilities of the elearning employees. For example, if they find out that DIY learning is helpful in some scenarios rather than new content creation, it’s better to use the former.

But if more detailed learning material is required in some cases, then it’s best to advocate that to the company, even though a higher budget might be needed. This way, the company does not spend much time and resources and still gets the best outcomes from learning.

How to prove the KPI from elearning?

When the companies don’t have many resources to hire, the L&D department can come to the rescue by training existing employees for new jobs. Elearning can help companies make employees understand why a certain set of rules is to be followed by them. If employees are not using elearning, it has not been designed correctly. The employees should understand the context behind compliance training as to why it was introduced in the first place.

And what will be the consequences of not following the rules? Hence, elearning needs to be designed in an entertaining manner where simulations explain what can happen if rules are not obeyed. It can’t be theoretical learning where employees cram up content and pass quizzes. They will fail in the practical application of such rules. The L&D department needs to focus on real problems facing a company, like how can a hazardous situation be avoided through elearning.

For example, it can happen that employees are not taking precautions while working with chemical substances, which can be deleterious to their health. With proper elearning, all such situations can be eliminated because fines can be imposed on the company too. So, when employees are shown the right way to work, it can save a lot of money in fines.

How to convince the C-suite to elearning? 

The L&D department should clearly mention what benefits it can provide to the company, either in terms of cost-cutting, increasing revenue, or productivity of employees. It should be very articulate about its key performance indicators.

For example, the L&D department must come up with the numbers on how spending on it would reduce the costs of a company. The C-suite of the company wants to know the numbers why it should spend on learning and department. When you have the right kind of data with you on how L&D can change things, the C-suite is easily convinced.

Conclusion

The learning and development budget can be a problem for a company, but it’s also a better option other than hiring employees because it’s a recession-driven market. Companies want to cut costs as much as they can. The L&D department needs to show how its work will help the business fight a business issue. The C-suite is unwilling to spend on anything, and the L&D department must persuade them why it needs the funding. 

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